What is WREPNet?
WREPNet is a high-speed, high-capacity information network that gives public sector organizations in our community access to the technology needed to be at the forefront of information, education and operational demands.
WREPNet uses fibre optic cables that offers dramatically fast network speeds for data and voice communications between sites on the network, and provides cost-effective access to improved information services and emerging technology applications and solutions.
Who is involved?
The idea for WREPNet began in 1998 when the Waterloo Region District School Board and Waterloo Catholic District School Board put forward a joint proposal to the Ministry of Education to build an information network that could be shared with other public organizations. The Ministry approved a one-time infrastructure grant of $10 million, and an alliance of public sector organizations was developed to plan and manage the network. The founding WREPNet partners were:
- Waterloo Region District School Board (WRDSB)
- Waterloo Catholic District School Board (WCDSB)
- Region of Waterloo
- City of Kitchener
- City of Waterloo
- City of Cambridge
- Conestoga College
- Kitchener Public Library
- Waterloo Public Library
- Cambridge Public Library
The network was designed and built with extra capacity that allowed other public sector partners to join. In 2004, Grand River Hospital and Family and Children’s Services of the Waterloo Region joined the partnership and in 2009 Women’s Crisis Services of Waterloo Region also joined.
Where are the WREPNet sites?
WREPNet connects 332 locations, including all WCDSB and WRDSB schools in Waterloo Region, school board offices, municipal and regional government administration offices, and services such as fire stations, recreation facilities and golf courses, public library branches, community college campuses, hospitals and community services offices.
How is WREPNet used?
Each partner decides what information and services it will make available to its users.
The cities and the Region will use WREPNet to manage and access internal data that is needed to conduct their day-to-day business. The libraries will use the network to provide Internet-based products and services directly to their customers.
WREPNet will also make it possible for partners to exchange and share applications and data. The partners are already considering applications such as distance education, remote registration for community programs, and the use of geographic information systems (GIS) data by local fire departments, to name a few.
When did WREPNet become operational?
Starting with a prototype network of 15 sites in January 2000, the number of connected sites is growing on a regular basis. The original 227 sites were completed on Oct 3, 2001 and WREPNet now serves over 325 sites.
For more information, see History.